‘Once a professional footballer, now I fit their kitchens…’

JS Geddes MD Jim Geddes reflects on his professional and semi-pro career as a footballer and wonders if a kick in the head may have been responsible for his decision to go into kitchens

My football career began in our semi-professional league – the Junior league in Scotland – with Darvel Jnrs, before moving on to the dizzy heights of Ayr United.

I was signed in 1983 by George Caldwell. Then the inevitable happened and he was sacked to make way for probably Scotland’s most famous manager ever – Ally MacLeod. From the first minute he walked through the dressing room door, there was a huge buzz about the place and this larger-than-life character soon turned the team’s fortunes around. Ally was also always great for a footballing story.

Having also been on loan to Stranraer, I continued my career by going back to semi-pro with Irvine Meadow, Kilwinning and Largs and finished playing at the age of 42.

Perhaps my outstanding memory was my debut for Ayr against Dumbarton on a wet Wednesday night, which resulted in my being stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital with a head injury. Ironically it was a friend of mine who played with Dumbarton that managed to kick me in the head.

Some may say that to get into the kitchen industry you must have had a head injury of some kind.

Having also been a manager for seven years at semi-pro level, perhaps the funniest memory was a Scottish cup tie at home when one of the players decided to appear in the dressing room dressed as Batman. Football being what it is, the message soon got back to me as the manager that this was going to happen, so I dressed up as Robin underneath my suit and manager’s jacket.

The player bounded into the dressing room to be met by (fake) anger from myself at his total lack of respect for the team and the fans. I stormed out the door – theatrically banging it shut, and quickly removed my suit. I then rushed through the other door in my best Robin gear to be met by howls of laughter in the dressing room. A classic moment.

With my football career being part-time, I started out in the kitchen industry in 1984 at the age of 23 and football connections allowed me to do kitchens for two former Scotland managers – Ally MacLeod and Craig Brown. To this day, we have installed kitchens for several top professional footballers.

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